After establishing himself as one of the top online poker grinders in the Garden State, New Jersey pro Daniel Lupo has added a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet to his already sterling resume.
And he didn’t even have to visit Las Vegas to live every poker player’s dream.
Along with his first gold bracelet, Lupo earned $145,273 for the first-place finish. Per the PocketFives online tournament poker results database, that score brings Lupo’s career winnings to $2,631,560.
The 36-year old works as an architect by day. But when his schedule allows, Lupo lights up tournament leaderboards on several of New Jersey’s online poker rooms. Back in May, Lupo won an astounding five tournaments during the 2019 PokerStars New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (NJSCOOP) series alone.
Those NJSCOOP wins on the PokerStars NJ platform came under the screenname “AvaGray,” a handle Lupo dedicated to his twin children Ava and Grayson.
In an interview with PocketFives conducted shortly after his WSOP bracelet breakthrough, Lupo said his little ones woke up early to start the celebration:
“At 5:45 my three and a half-year-old twins came in, so I barely slept. I’ve been in an excited state of delirium all day and then just overwhelmed with all the support from my friends in the poker community. So, it’s been pretty awesome.”
Lupo also discussed the strategies and playing style that propelled him to a wire-to-wire victory of sorts:
“The tournament started off and I was in a very hyper-aggressive mood and I was … playing a little crazy in the beginning. I had this very loose aggressive table image and I was basically able to capitalize and chip up pretty quickly from that point.
After the first hour, through the rest of the tournament, I was pretty much in the top ten of chips aside from a few short periods of time. So it was pretty smooth sailing.”
After reaching the nine-handed final table, New Jersey pro Lupo flopped a set of jacks to bust Aleksandr “HITRII999” Shevelev in ninth place. He then ousted “jnutz” in seventh place when his A-Q held up over A-2.
By the time three-handed play arrived, Lupo and eventual runner-up David “DTC13” Clarke were both badly out-chipped by Christopher “johnsonck” Johnson. Lupo got his stack all-in holding 5-5 against Johnson’s A-6, and looked to be in dire straits when an Ace hit the flop. No help arrived on the turn, but a miraculous five of hearts hit on the river to give Lupo a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
In March, Lupo earned a $145,926 haul by winning a tournament on America’s Card Room (ACR), but as he told PocketFives, that slightly higher payout pales in comparison to winning poker’s most prestigious prize:
“This is definitely number one by far in my mind. The bracelet, the prestige of that, the excitement of it and winning the tournament outright on top of that. I mean, it’s everybody’s dream and I don’t really get many opportunities because I don’t get out for much live poker. So, the chance to win a bracelet and actually do it playing online from New Jersey … it’s amazing.”
New Jersey pro Lupo became the second Garden State based player to bag a bracelet on WSOP.com NJ this summer, after Yong Keun Kwon won the first of nine online eventson the schedule.
For a full rundown of the final table results, see the table below:
|1||Daniel “centrefieldr” Lupo||$145,273|
|2||David “DTC13” Clarke||$89,692|
|3||Christopher “johnsonck” Johnson||$63,771|
|4||Jared “JSTRIZZA” Strauss||$45,959|
|5||Fred “staeks” Li||$33,475|
|8||Stephen “TonyStarsGFK” Graner||$13,994|
|9||Aleksandr “HITRII999” Shevelev||$10,734|